Photographing Birds with the Olympus OM-D E-M1X

olympus omd em1x birds in flight-1

It’s been a little over six months since I’ve been using the Olympus OM-D E-M1X. During this period I’ve had the opportunity to photograph a range of birds with this camera and the M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 zoom lens along with the M.Zuiko MC-20 and MC-14 teleconverters. This article shares an extensive selection of photographs of birds-in-flight as well as static birds, and provides some thoughts on the OM-D E-M1X.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 II, Firmware 3.0 and Birds in Flight

Update: the article now includes an in-depth video tutorial with all the settings to configure as well as an analysis of the performance of the E-M1 mark III. You’ll find the video and a step by step guide with images at the bottom of this article.

The OM-D E-M1 II is an impressive camera in many ways, but there is one area that has always disappointed me, and that is the autofocus performance.

It was a good step forward from its predecessor, the original E-M1, but not enough to stay ahead of the competition. In fact, many mirrorless models, including mid-level products such as the X-T20 and the a6300, offer better performance.

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Sony Eye AF for Animals – a6400, A7 III, A7R III

Among the various improvements brought to autofocus technology over the years, I consider eye detection one of the most interesting. Why is this?

Well, the explanation is quite simple: when you take a picture of a person, achieving correct focus on the eyes is essential. If the eyes are out of focus, even just slightly, part of the identity of the person being photographed can’t be read and as a consequence, the emotional connection the eyes transmit is lost. Of course there can be exceptions if the photographer is trying to communicate a specific message, but the general rule is that a good portrait must have the eyes in focus.

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Using the Laowa 9mm f/2.8 Zero-D for Fujifilm X in Barcelona

laowa 9mm 2.8 zero-d for fuji

A few months ago, we travelled to Barcelona for the launch of Panasonic’s Lumix S1 and S1R. Although Mat had been there before for business many years ago, this was my first ever trip to this vibrant Mediterranean city and it lived up to my every expectation: sandy beaches stretching for miles, palm trees as common as conifers, friendly sun-kissed people, and stunning gothic and modern architecture around every corner.

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Scotland with an unexpected pair: Panasonic Lumix G9 & S1R

My initial plan for our two week holiday in Scotland was to bring the Nikon Z6 and the 24-70mm f/4 lens, a combo that in a similar form (Z7 and the same zoom) gave me lots of satisfaction during our holiday in Italy last year.

A week before our departure, Panasonic UK asked me if I wanted to test the Lumix S1R. And if that weren’t enough, they also told me that the Leica DG 200mm f/2.8 and TC 1.4x were available, a combo I’ve been wanting to try with the G9 for some time.

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